Comfortable ski boots? It's the first step in a great day on the slopes, and easier to achieve than you might think.
Carol Beale, Certified Pedorthist, brings 18 years of experience to Stratton and the slopeside Bootlab @ First Run Ski Shop. The Bootlab offers a large ski boot selection and expert ski and snowboard boot fitting that delivers comfort and performance for all athletic levels.
"In the many years I have been fitting boots, the number one reason people seek a bootfitter boils down to comfort and warmth," Beale said. "My goal is to make the foot comfortable inside the ski boot while maintaining the right amount of foot compression that a person can handle. The result is better balance and a longer, more enjoyable day on the slopes for all."
Describing herself as "a pharmacist for the foot," Beale analyzes skier type – including how often a person skis, where and at what level before making her recommendation on the ideal type of support for the foot. "The average person wants control, but they don't want their foot to hurt," Beale said. "My job is to make that fit and their ski experience enjoyable and comfortable."
And that's crucial because the most important piece of ski equipment is not the ski, but the boot. Each boot manufacturer designs its models based on a single foot shape, so the bootfitter starts by determining which brand(s) would work best for the individual. From there, a proper footbed and boot modifications will place the foot close to the shell resulting in responsiveness and a natural stance reducing foot pain.
What you should know:
"There are basically two types of footbeds: custom and over the counter, and we provide both at First Run," Beale said. "The custom footbeds are modeled or casted directly to your foot, while the over the counter footbeds are standard arch supports that are trimmed to fit almost anything your foot slides into."
"A footbed is intended to help improve normal function of the foot, take some strain off muscles for better balance and reduce foot movement inside the boot."
And with First Run's slopeside location, adjustments can be made on-site, immediately after a run.
"There's a lot of benefit in memory retention," Beale said. "What's wrong with the boot is fresh and in a skiers mind. With the location right there, I am hoping people come in and say 'this is bothering me' and bingo! Problem solved."
Call Carol and The Boot Lab Staff to set up an appointment to have your fit checked, stance and balance adjusted or have a custom foot bed fabricated to make your on hill time the best possible!
Call 802.297.4405 for more information.
Hours: Sunday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ; Friday & Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.